As we talk to people on the telephone and visit olive groves around Australia, we sometimes find that trees have been planted in soils that are acidic (have a low pH), sometimes below 5.0. This is far from ideal as the optimum soil pH for olive trees is between 7.0 and 8.0.
If you have soil with a low pH it is very important that you correct the problem before planting. A very low pH will stunt young olive tree's growth and leave you wondering why they just don't seem to be growing as they should.
One way of raising your pH is to include the correct amount of agricultural lime during your ground preparation work prior to planting. This will be your last chance to efficiently get the lime and manures ripped down into the root zone area of the soil. Your olive trees will be there for a long time and once the tree is in the ground you will not be able to deep rip the soil without damaging shallow roots. Remember you are trying to change the pH of your soil in the top 600+mm (2+ ft) not just the top few centimetres.
are other methods of increasing your pH which can also be
considered. Check with your local Department of Agriculture or
other orchard owners to see what is best in your area.
enable growers to initially check their soil pH and then monitor
it throughout their orchard, Olive Agencies has available a simple
yet accurate kit which quickly tests the pH of your soils.
kit will do about 40 - 50 pH tests and comes with full instructions.
This is the original CSIRO test kit and is very reliable.